"I see things differently..."

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Healing Heart

Here is the story behind this heart painting of mine.  It goes out with my Valentines' greetings to whomever this story may touch.  It contains pain, love, and humor... a fitting nod to this holiday.

Several years ago, I had a painting in a juried show titled "Women Imaging Freedom and Peace".  Each artist wrote about their art in a notebook available for viewing during the show.  My painting "Poppies" (one of the prints on my website) was the piece I had in the show.  My husband, Rick was out of town, and friends were unable to come, so I went to the opening alone. I read through all the women's stories after viewing their art.  It was apparent that many of these women had been through some very difficult and painful experiences.  In the room next to the gallery, there was a demonstration gathering of "mothers of the disappeared".  The cumulative pain in these two rooms was palpable.

That night when I returned home, I painted for hours. It felt like I was doing healing work.  The heart that I was painting had a forward-pitched direction, moving from vibrational ripples of dark waters surrounding it towards an open, clear blue.  

Sometime well after midnight, my 17-year old son and a couple of friends who were staying the night came upstairs to see why I was still up.  The painting was on the kitchen floor and I was still working away on it.  In recent months I had noticed that the teenage boys seemed rather interested in the abstract paintings that I had been doing, so I thought they would be having a look.  Instead I realized that they were looking at me.  I could almost hear the voices in their heads saying, "Whoa, my Mom is not like this!..."  I slipped into the bathroom and took a look at myself.  My face was flushed, my eyes were blazing...I had to admit that I was quite a sight!  The painting complete, I headed to bed for a short night of sleep.

The next morning I was supposed to be painting in a garden setting for a local greenhouse.  Since I was very tired and more or less just part of the decor, I just stirred around doing minor things to another painting that had been well underway.  People would stop by and visit.  One of them was my friend, Melanie, who had her young daughter along with her.  While we were chatting,  Hannah looked down at my feet, and asked, "Mrs, Speckmann, why do you have on two different shoes"? (Now, in my defense the two black walking shoes looked very similar.  However, they were different enough that a 7 year old could discern the variation).

What can I say?  Healing is hard work!  But every time I look at this painting of mine, beyond the initial stab of pain, I always feel a smile coming on.  And that is part of the healing too.


  1. Beautiful Gail! Congratulations on a great start...look forward to seeing/reading more.

  2. Thanks for sharing and being transparent. pw